Only six months ago that I wrote about the eighth “anniversary” of this blog. When I posted my last entry BlogSpot reminded me that that was my 500th entry. The reasons I write were fairly well summed up by what I wrote in that anniversary piece, part of which is included below.
When I started this, who knew I’d keep going. I certainly didn’t. It was an experiment which still makes me wonder, why? Perhaps it’s because I sometimes don’t even know what I think until I put my hands on a keyboard. Writing requires thought, working things out in a way speaking does not, and certainly thinking is completely unnecessary (in fact thinking is the enemy) when forwarding mindless email chains.
A consequence of writing in this space is “thought accountability.” I have to take responsibility for the views expressed here which change over time. If others tap into my stories, photographs, and views, benefit by them, identify with them in some way, or are bored by them and never return, so be it. I chose not to support a comment section in the blog, but one can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One thing I mentioned below is my intent to lessen the focus on family history, not only because of
privacy issues, but I’ve covered the essentials. At the same time I am purging some of the
physical “stuff” associated with that history.
The older one gets, the more things own you. In that regard, the George Eastman Museum in Rochester is enthusiastically accepting
much of the memorabilia I have from my family’s photographic studio, the history of which I have detailed in this blog. It will be suitable home for those materials, accessible to future generations. Once they have received everything,
catalogued it all, and digitize much of it, I’ll provide a link in some future
And further along those lines, there have been a number of emails back and forth with the The National WWII Museum in New Orleans regarding my father’s unique scrapbook of his service during the War and ultimately I’ll be donating that to them, once I digitize all his letters and locate the photographs he took during the war which are not in the scrapbook itself.
With the completion of that donation, I will be through with not only writing about those pieces of my family’s history, but putting the physical evidence in strong hands for preservation. Maybe if I didn’t write this blog I might have been less proactive in this regard, another benefit.
So, from my “anniversary” issue….
Can it be? Eight years writing this blog. That’s the amount of time I spent in grammar school. Those eight years in PS 90 seem to be light years in the distant past, but at the time they were an eternity. And four years in high school were equally drawn out, anticipating adulthood, the point at which I could leave the turmoil of my parent’s home. Time accelerated in college, came on full speed during my career and raising a family, and now it’s a year in a blink.
I think I’ve been true to my “mission statement” in this space -- essentially an eclectic, kaleidoscopic diary. There have been 480 entries thus far, enough to fill at least five printed volumes. Content has morphed into more about theatre, literature and still some politics and economics, but less about family history. I’ve pretty much covered that, and the older I get the more I’d like to move on.
Nonetheless, I still write about things which are fairly personal, always hesitating about what I “put out there.” As this blog has evolved, so has the digital world, data mining for all sorts of nefarious reasons. And the digital world has moved way beyond blogs to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, social networks where a momentary impulse can be just thrown out as a developed thought. Not here. Traffic building has not been my intent. According to Google, in eight years there have been 86,021 page views. Some web sites do that in a minute. Most land here via searches (not for me, but topics I write about) and frequently those are image searches as I’ve incorporated countless photographs in this space
The most viewed entry is one in February 2011 about the Maiden Voyage of Oceania’s ship ‘Marina.’ Not far behind in fifth place is the one I wrote on my open heart surgery, only two months later
Without going into details of the latter, it is truly a twist of fate that I made it through that voyage without ending up in the freezer with the flowers (a favorite repository for those who die on cruises). Of course I didn’t realize that I was so vulnerable at the time (although we’re all vulnerable all the time). I suppose that is another reason I write this blog: it is a record and it allows me to reflect on my life and matters of living, to have a documented trail. I go to it when memory fails.
I add this coda, something I came across in my files while searching materials for the George Eastman Museum. My father had saved it and obviously so did I. It is the first letter I ever received -- about a month after I was born, from the War Price and Rationing Board of the Office of Price Administration during WW II. This presumably contained ration coupons – a bit of history including the address of my parents’ first home, an apartment house which is still standing.